The short story "Flowers for Algernon" was first published as the lead story in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It was later reprinted in The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, 9th series (1960), the Fifth Annual of the Year’s Best Science Fiction (1960), Best Articles and Stories (1961), Literary Cavalcade (1961), The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964 (1970), and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 30-Year Retrospective (1980).
The expanded novel was first published in 1966 by Harcourt Brace with the Bantam paperback following in 1968. By 2004, it had been translated into 27 languages, published in 30 countries and sold more than 5 million copies. Since its original publication, the novel has never been out of print.